FROM Darrell Steinberg
Where Is $9 Billion in Unused Bonds? Governor Brown says, "Caution is not really the right path" when it comes to creating jobs and stimulating the economy. He wants President Obama to invest in sewers, schools and roads, just as Franklin Roosevelt did during the Great Depression. LA Times columnist George Skelton says , "Brown can look right under his nose and find $9 billion for thousands of paychecks."
Letting Cities Raise Their Own Taxes California's $25 billion budget gap will be partly closed by $12 billion in spending cuts passed by the Assembly and Senate. Republicans have refused to allow a statewide vote on a $12 billion tax increase to make up the rest. Now the President Pro Tem of the State Senate, Democrat Darrell Steinberg, has introduced a plan to allow cities, counties and school districts to raise taxes on their own.
Will California Ever Get a Budget? This year's legislative session is about to come to an end, with the state budget two months overdue and likely to remain so. Governor Schwarzenegger has already said it may have to wait until his successor is sworn in next year.
$40 Billion Hole in State Budget Stays Empty California faces a $40 billion deficit over the next two years, but in a few weeks it will run out of money to pay for operating expenses. Governor Schwarzenegger says new taxes are needed, but Republicans in the legislature won't go along. Democrats have a majority, but not enough to provide the two-thirds vote required for new taxes. They have been negotiating with Schwarzenegger on an $18 billion stop-gap, but today talks broke down. We get an update and learn more about the "dysfunctionality" of California government.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.